Street art piece
Street Art Museum Amsterdam
Btoy is one of the first women who stepped out onto the streets of Barcelonawith detailed multi-layered stencil art that playswith colour, light and shadow to create moody and powerful portraits. Born in Barcelona, Btoy is the child of social activists and refugees fleeing the dictatorial regime in Uruguay lasting from 1973-85. As a self-taught artist, she came to graffiti while completing a photography degree (and after abandoning studies in law), first playing with paste-ups on the streets of Barcelona in the early 2000’s. At that time, before it became the mass tourism hotspot it is today, a welcoming culture and low cost of living in Barcelona created fertile ground for those experimenting with graffiti, underground music, theater and art subcultures. It was in this setting that Btoy began to vigorously investigate feminism, stereotyped gender roles and identities, and to express her own identity through her work, choosing the streets as her medium for their freedom from convention, their hidden moods, memories, and stories.
Good / Legible
The work is characterised by Btoy's usual figurative realism in depicting the faces of famous people. The gaze, as in the case of many portraits, is the clouding element of the rest of the composition and the centrifugation of the viewer's gaze is also suggested by the red and yellow lines of the background. The taste for detail can be seen in the richness and precision of the elements of the artist's headgear. The artwork's composition is very similar to Gloria Swanson's artwork, realized in 2016 as well.
The artwork represents Greta Garbo, pseudonym of Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, a Swedish-born, naturalised American actress who lived most of her life in the United States and gained international recognition by appearing in several Hollywood film productions, both silent and sound, in the 1920s and 1930s. She retired from acting in 1941. The artwork is part of "Catch if you can" serie, but also of Btoy's serie dedicated to famous cinema actresses (Gloria Swanson, Betty Bronson, etc.)